Children 'not kept safe' and staff 'oblivious to hazards' : Inadequate-rated nursery retains rating

Clever Clogs Day Nursery

Clever Clogs Day Nursery in Brentwood. - Credit: Google Maps

Inspectors have found a Brentwood nursery has not kept its children "safe" with its staff "oblivious to hazards" as it retains its ‘inadequate’ rating.  

Clever Clogs Day Nursery has not improved its provision, an Ofsted report has found.  

Published by Ofsted on April 8 following a March inspection, the report rated the nursery 'inadequate' across five categories - the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and overall effectiveness.  

It comes after the nursery was "temporarily closed” in March this year, after receiving an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted in a November inspection

The report said: “Children are not kept safe.  

“The provider and staff are oblivious to hazards.  

“Staff carelessly balance unstable, heavy, wooden peg puzzles on a high shelf in the baby room. These fall to the floor where babies play.”  

The nursery was previously rated 'good' in 2019, and in response to the November rating, a spokesperson for the provision said it "whole-heartedly apologises for such significant failures”. 

In the recent report, the education regulator highlighted that children encounter “a number of slip hazards” and “cannot freely access drinking water throughout the day”.  

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It said staff have “poor knowledge and understanding of first aid” and “continue to follow unhygienic practices”.  

According to the report, children’s toilets aren’t cleaned “with faeces remaining in the bowl” and staff do not wash their hands between nappy changes.  

It added: “Children's ability to acquire key skills needed for the next stage in their learning is extremely limited.”  

But it noted that “despite this, overall, children are happy and behave well”.  

The report said the provider has made “insufficient progress" after the last inspection, with improvements not seen in specific areas.  

Staff were found to have attended several training courses since the November inspection, but Ofsted said the provider “failed to ensure they have an adequate understanding of their roles and responsibilities”.  

An issue with correct “qualification rations of staff in each room” was also flagged, meaning babies could be left with “inexperienced staff who do not provide adequate supervision”.  

Its safeguarding arrangements were deemed “not effective”.  

The report said Ofsted has issued the provider with a welfare requirement notice asking for the areas of concern to be addressed.  

Its sister site, Clever Tots Nursery in Crescent Road, Brentwood, remains closed.   

Clever Clogs was contacted for comment but did not respond.